Nerd Alert! It's official: Jughead is asexual; The Simpsons movie references

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      Welcome to Nerd Alert!, your weekly round-up of news from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, animation, and all things nerdy.

      ARCHIE'S PAL JUGHEAD has been portrayed as asexual for years—he'd rather lavish affection on a hamburger than on another human being—but that particular label has never been officially applied to him. Until now: In a preview of Archie Comics' Jughead #4 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson, it's revealed in a conversation between Jughead and a fellow Riverdale High student that Jug is indeed asexual. (See a few panels above.)

      Zdarsky actually revealed last fall that he was writing Jughead as an asexual character. During New York Comic Con, the writer said "People have asked me if there is going to be a romance if I’m writing Jughead, because I’m very romantic, and the answer is no, because there is enough of that in Archie. I think something like asexuality is underrepresented, and since we have a character who was asexual before people had the word for it, I’m continuing to write him that way."

      IF I WERE REALLY CLEVER,  I might be able to come up with a clever segue from the previous item into this one, which is about diverse representation in comics. But I'm not, so I'll just cut to the chase: nominees for the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics were announced this week. They are:

      • Andre The Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri (IDW Publishing)
      • Fresh Romance, edited by Janelle Asselin (Rosy Press)
      • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder and Natacha Bustos (Marvel Entertainment)
      • Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (Marvel Entertainment);
      • Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger (Emet Comics)

      The award is named for the late Dwayne McDuffie, a veteran writer and producer in comics and animation who died in 2011. The winner will be announced in a ceremony at the Long Beach Comic Con on February 20.

      ONE OF THE GREAT legacies of The Simpsons is how much it has become embedded in everyday conversation. I can't get through a day without making at least one reference to the long-running show. (Then again, I'm a huge nerd. Your mileage may vary.) The Simpsons itself has often made references to other media, especially Hollywood films. Vimeo user "cgmzz" compiled this video featuring side-by-side comparisons of a number of those cinematic homages. If you like movies, you'll dig it. Personally, I love movies. They're my only escape from the drudgery of work and family. 

      OUR NEW NEIGHBOURS are total nerds—and we love it. The new Storm Crow Alehouse is scheduled to open tomorrow at 1619 West Broadway. To put that into perspective, the Georgia Straight office is located at 1635 West Broadway. Are we stoked about this new addition to the neighbourhood? Yes. Yes, we are. Lucy Lau and Amanda Siebert popped in for a visit last week while the Storm Crow was still undergoing renovations, reporting that the geek-heaven pub's decor includes "a life-size Han Solo figure frozen in carbonite; a snarling Rancor statue which sits above a refinished gas fireplace; and a vivid mural that pays homage to Erol Otus, one of the original graphic artists for Dungeons & Dragons". Just take our money already, Storm Crow! 

      IS THIS REALLY HOW Star Wars: The Force Awakens should have ended? You tell me.